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Rabbi Phillip E. Schechter

U.S. Air Force


Rabbi Schechter, who was born in the Bronx, studied at Johns Hopkins and the University of Cincinnati. He received his rabbinical ordination, bachelors and masters degrees in Hebrew Learning, and his doctorate of divinity from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati and Jerusalem. He has served congregations in Baltimore, Atlantic City, New York City and Manalapan, New Jersey, before moving to Stamford in 2000.

Upon his ordination in 1960, Rabbi Schechter served as a Chaplain in the Air Force for isolated Jewish service personnel on seven Air Force bases throughout the Western United States. At the same time, he served the civilian Jewish communities of Salina, Kansas; Great Falls, Montana and Roswell, New Mexico.  

Since moving to Stamford, Rabbi Schechter has served as the Moderator of the Issues in Living Program at the Stamford Senior Center and has been the rabbi for Jewish Living. In 2007-2009, he was co-rabbi of a congregation in Southington with his wife, Rabbi Liz Rolle, who is currently Education Director at Congregation Beth El in Norwalk. He also has served as Rabbi in Residence at the First Presbyterian Church in Stamford since 2009 and is a member of the Stamford Clergy Association. 

Elected President of the National Association of Retired Reform Rabbis in 2012, Rabbi Schechter is currently one of the Reform representatives on the JWB Jewish Chaplains Council which endorses Jewish clergy to serve as chaplains for the Department of Defense and is Chaplain of the JWV Fred Robbins Post 142. His daughter, Sarah, is the first woman Jewish Chaplain in the USAF and is currently serving as the Jewish Chaplain for the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

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